Mumbai and the World Heritage Sites of Ajanta and Ellora
It is an often repeated but accurate cliché that India is a land of extremes and contrasts. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Maharashtra's largest city- Mumbai. This vast metropolis, with an estimated population of around 20 million, is part 19th century colonial vestige, part 21st century mega-city and many other things in between. Mumbai is a mind-boggling assault on the senses that will astound you and pose just as many questions as it will provide answers.
The majority of the city's best known Maharashtra tourist places are at the far south of
the string of islands (all linked by causeways) which stretch some 25km into the Arabian Sea.
This means a 90 minute plus drive from the airport to the area of South Mumbai which is the
part of the city with the most interesting sights for the visitor.
Once you are there, the main sights are contained in a relatively compact area. The prime areas of Colaba and Churchgate are studded with highlights.
There are innumerable buildings which stand as sentinels to a time gone by- the Raj
era left an indelible mark and at times it is only the presence of palm trees which
reminds you that you are not somewhere in England,such is the preponderance of Victorian
The main buildings of Mumbai University could be straight out of Cambridge although it would be fair to say that the cricket matches which are scattered across the Maidan on the opposite side of the road are a bit more rowdy than those in genteel England.
Not far away is the stock exchange - a modern shrine to India's embrace of its extended economic boom and a place which may in the not too distant future be as well known in world financial circles as that of Wall Street.
At the very southernmost Maharashtra tour of the island is the Gateway of India- undertaken to commemorate the visit of King George V in 1911 but not completed until 1924- and the area around this 15 metre high arch is a major social hub and a great place to meet local people.
Chowpatty Beach is famous as the most popular tourist places in Maharashtra and at any time of the day or evening one will find people here strolling along the sand, building sand castles and paddling in the warm waters of the harbour. These are famous Maharashtra tourist places.
There are few reasons to spend time in North Mumbai although this area is home to Film City- the nerve centre of the Bollywood film industry and Maharashtra tour of a film studio and sets can be undertaken here. Juhu beach near the airport is home to many excellent resorts and there are numerous modern, westernised shopping hubs of this part of the city.
Maharashtra is also home to two famous rather isolated UNESCO World Heritage sites.the
Buddhist Caves at Ajanta and the rock cut temples of Ellora. These places to visit in
Maharashtra are located near Aurangabad.
These places are accessible by flight or by overnight train from Mumbai. Please note when planning a trip that Ajanta is closed on a Monday and Ellora is closed on a tuesday.